Travelling to Steve Cady Arena in Ohio, the No. 1 DU hockey team swept Miami University in a two-game series on Feb. 17 and 18. The Pioneers defeated the RedHawks handily by scores of 5-2 in both matches.
On Feb. 17, sophomore center Dylan Gambrell (Bonney Lake, Washington) opened up the scoring in the second period. The San Jose Sharks prospect fired the goal through a crowded crease from in front of the net.
Tallying one more goal, the Pioneers headed into the third period with a 2-0 lead, but it would be short-lived. Miami rallied to tie the game 2-2 by the midway point of the final frame.
Denver relied on their seasoned, senior captain Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wisconsin) to break the tie. His wrister from the slot beat the RedHawks goalie high to the glove side, giving Denver a 3-2 lead at 13:56 of the period.
Gambrell tacked on an insurance marker only minutes later, his third point of the night. Butcher was attributed an assist, also his third point in the game. A final empty-netter would seal DU’s win, 5-2.
Junior goaltender Tanner Jaillet (Red Deer, Alberta) stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced to record his 19th win on the season.
In the teams’ second match up, the Pioneers fell down early, surrendering the first goal of the game at only 4:10 of the first period. Sophomore forward Troy Terry (Denver) and senior winger Emil Romig (Vienna, Austria) each tallied goals in the first period as well, giving DU a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
Just as in the first meeting, Miami would score the equalizer to tie the match 2-2, but Denver would quickly answer. Terry recorded his second goal of the night at 6:30 of the second period to give the Pioneers a 3-2 lead, one they would never relinquish.
Romig scored his second even-strength goal of the night in the third period, his fifth of the year. Defenseman Tariq Hammond (Calgary, Alberta) added an insurance marker with five minutes left, giving DU their second 5-2 win of the series.
Sophomore winger Jarid Lukosevicius (Squamish, British Columbia) was ejected from the game in the third period when he received a five-minute major for kneeing, as well as a 10-minute game misconduct.
Again only allowing two goals, the consistent Jaillet stopped 23 of 25 shots. His 20 wins on the season leaves him tied for first in the nation with three other goaltenders, though his 1.84 goals against average and .930 save percentage best the other three’s statistics.
Butcher again got on the score sheet in the second game, recording his 24th assist of the season. His 30 points in 32 games leads the team, as does his +24 rating.
Now on a seven-game winning streak, the Pioneers remain atop the NCHC standings. Their next match sees St. Cloud State traveling to the Mile High City for a two-game series on Feb. 24 and 25 at Magness Arena.